Gagarin Tax Firm - First Place at Portland World's

Saan 3111

This deck went undefeated at the very prestigious event of Portland World's, the 12 player tournament that we threw together for those that weren't able to go to Real World's.

This is a Gagarin deck, so the best thing to do is be taxing. However, you aren't any more taxing than a blank ID if the runner never actually runs remotes, so the idea behind this deck was to run generally high-value remotes to force the runner to run on them and trash them. If they can't, that's still okay for you, since they're good cards and you get to keep them. If they trash them, they just paid a boatload of money and now you can probably score an agenda.

Dem Assets

I was going to put a section here on the star assets, but they're all just so damn good. Even the PADs are fantastic, giving good drip and costing 5 to trash. I'll usually throw the Expo Grids on these, since they're the most likely to stick around. This also incentivizes the runner to run the pads and pay 5 to trash them. Most people will let the Grids hang around, since that's another 4 to trash them, which is fine with me because if there's one thing this deck has, it's more assets to throw on the Grids.

In a previous version, I was running a couple Capital Investors, but these have been replaced by the generally superior Launch Campaigns. I just like Launch better because I don't have to invest my turn into getting the credits. Clicking for 6 is way better than clicking for 3, but with a 2 rez cost, Capital Investors is just really really slow to get going, and usually gets trashed the following turn. Launch Campaign gives a credit after you rez it, and then pays out 2 each turn in a nice, clickless drip. I'm a fan of throwing a Pop-up Window in front of these, just to increase the investment the runner has to make to go get them. Once they're done, I can use the server for another one, or a Public Support, Team Sponsorship, or other high value asset.

Corporate Town wrecks the crap out of anyone with a resource econ engine, which includes basically all anarchs. Tutoring it up with a The Future is Now is a common play, which only gets better if you also have a Team Sponsorship on board, because you can then throw it in a server as soon as you tutor it up without wasting a click. Team Sponsorship is also great for recurring Launch Campaigns for more money, or getting a Public Support back on the field.

Scoring Tips

Something I actually think is really important for Gagarin to do is to try and score a naked agenda, preferably early in the game, if you can. Mainly, this is to just show that you will. This makes the runner check unrezzed remotes, wasting not only the Gagarin tax credit, but also time they'd rather spend doing other things. If they're completely broke, even scoring naked NAPDs can be a thing, since it's 5 to steal. I usually don't because that's a pretty risky play, but I've done it. But trying and scoring naked agendas is key. Most other agendas can and will be scored in the scoring remote (which can also be used for Launch Campaigns and Public Support in the mid to late game), so don't try and make this where you usually get your points from.

IAA most NAPD Contracts, especially if you're playing someone that knows that you're playing Global Food Initiative. It gives the runner the impression that they can get the agenda when they can't. If they think you're bluffing an NAPD (which you are, so good for them) and don't run, that's still fine because you get the agenda and a click next turn to actually do something with.

I score most of my Project Atlass unadvanced, simply because there so many other things in the deck that they could be. However, Atlas counters are still great, and advancing them can make them look like NAPDs, which is also fine.

Advancing The Future is Now is sometimes correct as well, since it can, again, look like NAPD, as well as gives you a click to install what you tutor up, assuming you don't have a Team Sponsorship on board. This is another agenda that 90% of the time I just score unadvanced, but don't miss the opportunity to advance it if you're pretty sure you can score it and you want the install right away next turn.

Underwhelming Cards

Really, it's just the one: Tour Guide. Sometimes the little bastard is pretty good, but he has a couple problems. The first is that (especially with the change from Capital Investors to Launch Campaign) you occasionally just don't have many (or any, depending on the game) assets rezzed, making him basically blank. Sometimes, though, he has 5 subs and you feel good about life. However the first case also exists, and it feels bad when it does. The second problem is that, naturally, Parasite exists. There's a lot of Parasite-able ice in the deck, and that's usually not that bad an issue, actually. However, it is something that I feel bears mentioning. The problem is that he's a Sentry with ETR subs, which is really, really attractive, especially to an ID that runs assets all day every day. So he's in for now, but he's getting harsh looks.


Anyhow, despite all these words I just wrote, the deck more or less speaks for itself as to how it runs. If you can get them to play your game of checking remotes, you're on your way to winning. If they refuse, score in the open. Don't be afraid to rez The Root and use it's credits; remember, it's 5 to trash for them too, and with even a small ice in front of it it's a very unattractive trashing target, but it's literally made of value. Protect only what assets you need, and use the rest of the ice on centrals and the scoring remote. There's not much of it, so make sure it's where it needs to be. Don't be afraid to use Interns for anything from recurring Ash to throwing out another Launch Campaign if you're low on credits.

I've said it so many times, but I'll say it again to close, because it's important. Make the runners run your remotes; every time you do, you get that much closer to winning.

8 Nov 2015 Pandaclysm

First?? Grats!

8 Nov 2015 voltorocks

just took down our small GNk (I thinkwe had 8?) with a very similar decklist- honestly I think the only difference was no GFIs and -1 pop up for a Marcus Batty, and maybe a few minor econ differences.

This is a great deck; I truly think Gagarin is one of the most underappreciated IDs right now; then number of must-trash assets and must-parasite ICE you can field is just bananas; in my experience only PPvP Kate has a hope of keeping up, but even she runs out of steam from time to time (barring an utterly perfect econ draw).

Corp town is an MVP, I rez it almost every game. I've been surprised by how often it sticks, forcing runners to essentially just give up on ever playing any resources.

9 Nov 2015 SQUIDwarrior

Always love to see a good Gagarin deck. Well done!

9 Nov 2015 Saan

@Pandaclysm Thanks =)

@voltorocks I agree, it's an ID that has been getting a lot more good cards lately. I wish World's Plaza was playable, since it seems like it was designed with a Weyland asset deck in mind, but it's just generally bad. And oh man do I hear you on Corp Town. It's usually not amazing vs Kate, since she runs like 1-3 resources total, but vs Anarchs and even occasional criminals, it's almost always worth the rez. Two 1-pointers and a couple Public Supports make it (and Archer) pretty easy to rez if need be.

9 Nov 2015 vesper

Congratulations. I played against a variant of this just last night, and boy, was that darn Tour Guide a nuisance, or what.

9 Nov 2015 voltorocks

@Saan Against kate, I won't tutor it, but I will throw it down on the board. Just being installed makes Kate unplayable; meaning the game soon becomes "count the gambles and luckys" game, which is a pretty good spot to be in.

I mentioned it in passing, but mine runs a single batty, which is incredible with tutoring effects and team sponsorships. Even against a full suite of clone chips, batty->archer is a devastating setback for the runner. He is easily my second most common pick for TWIY or atlas tokens.

Last off, given in incredible performance of DLR Val at worlds, I'm expecting to see this archetype around a lot more. this list is already positioned well with corp town (gotta love "cannot be prevented") but I'm wondering if a one of Liz mills might be warranted? (also has play vs. Noise and stimshop shapers)

9 Nov 2015 Saan

@voltorocks I've played with Batty before, and he can indeed be pretty nice. The 3 influence is hard to come by, though. Basically, it means not running either Tollbooth or Team Sponsorship, which is a hard sell for me. It was easier for me to fit in before Global Food was in the deck, but Food is irreplaceable in decks that want it, and boy does this deck want it.

9 Nov 2015 Saan

And yeah, if DLR decks are suddenly everywhere around here, I could honestly see myself going up to 2 Corp Towns, just for consistency, and maybe 3x Pub Support to help them along.

9 Nov 2015 voltorocks

ah yeah, I'm not running food yet, though I probably should be. definitely been liking elsewhere...

9 Nov 2015 Brendan

How many classic SecTest/Desperado Criminals did you play against, out of interest?

9 Nov 2015 hi_impact

Desperado Sec Test really can't last long with Corporate Town on the board.

I've played this type of deck quite often and it's always a good play to threaten Criminal resources, and happens very reliably due to The Future is Now and Project Atlas.

9 Nov 2015 voltorocks

another reason I like running marcus it that he does tons of work against the often recursion-less criminals that try to punish you for wanting to leave remotes unprotected.

9 Nov 2015 mat

This is VERY close to what a deck I've been trying out... good job taking it to 1st place! :) Vegan Gagarin is still Weyland, so the Scorched threat always lingers for the first few turns at least.

I do have a lot of love for Batty as well tho, and Chronos Project is a MVP against Kate.

9 Nov 2015 Saan

@Brendan Played against one criminal, and I was fortunately able to get out Corp Town fairly early to shut off the money from Sec Test. In testing, I've played against other criminals, with Desperado/SecTest, and the matchup isn't that bad. Corp Town is obviously a good play, but criminals also have trouble with large code gates, so Tollbooth and Wormhole can be incredibly taxing for them. In me early testing I was worried that Desparado would just turn off my ID ability completely, and it does hurt. However, the credit they get from running is a credit that they actually do want to get, and having to lose it to my ID ability still hurts them in the long run. It's amazing how fast money goes away if they need to trash a few remotes and run through the scoring server once.

@mat It is the best feeling when people blind install a Plascrete against this deck. People that haven't played me before are always worried that unrezzed remotes are going to be Snare! as well, which is also fun. As for Chronos, I really wish I could get away with running one, because if it's scored at the right time you can just end the game. I've had such good success with The Future Is Now, though, that it's a hard sell for me to switch off it. The deck runs enough important 1-of cards (Corp Town, Archer, The Root, Tollbooth) that being able to get one out when I need it is pretty important to me. Being able to get an Ash when I'm not seeing one is great as well, and I'll also often tutor up the next agenda I need to score also, especially if I've realized I'll probably have a multi-turn scoring window and have IA or IAA'd TFIN. Just this morning on, I was able to IAA it and score it the following turn vs Leela, which (with Team Sponsership rezzed), gave me time to find the last NAPD I needed to win, put it in the server with TS, advance it once, and put back the ICE she bounced off R&D so I didn't just lose off that.

I dunno, though, maybe I'll try switching to 1 of each and see how I like it. There's no denying that Chronos can be great vs Kate and Noise (and anyone relying on Clone Chips to some degree), as well as good against Faust decks that rely on Levy to keep going.

10 Nov 2015 Adam500

Two words: Poor Adam.

11 Nov 2015 Saan

The interesting thing about this is that Adam only has to trash things off of R&D and HQ, since if he runs on a remote, he can just decline to pay the Gagarin tax in order to get his 1st click run in. However, if you play it well and make him check your face-down remotes, his money goes down the tubes pretty damn fast. Eventually I do like to try and kill his Always Be Running with Corporate Town, since it kills his ability to click through my single ETR sub ICE, but leaving Neutralize All Threats up is usually worth having him get an extra HQ access when he runs it just to make him trash all the crap to keep him poor. Generally, it seems like a pretty good matchup for me. He has a surprising amount of early pressure, but the longer the game goes, the better things get for me, feeling kind of similar to Criminal, actually.

6 Jan 2016 jage

Thoughts post Most Wanted List?

Just replace NAPD?

6 Jan 2016 Saan


So far, I've gone -1 NAPD -2 Pop-up Window, +1 Oaktown +1 Spiderweb +1 Tour Guide. I could also see an Ice Wall, Enigma, or Caduceus in those ICE slots, but I'm playing around with it.

Overall, NAPD is just too good in the deck to not include, and I'd honestly include 3 of them if the influence worked out. However, none of the 2-inf cards can leave the deck, as they're too important, and the rest of the 1-inf (Team Sponsorship and Global Food Initiative) are similarly needed. Oaktown is a great agenda, so it's still a decent replacement. But NAPD was included in the original deck over Oaktown for a reason, and that reason still stands, even with NAPD "costing" an influence now.

6 Jan 2016 voltorocks

we've been discussing it on stimhack, and I don't think dropping NAPD is the right call here. It is insanely scoreable in gagarin, especially with ash recursion, and with all the never-advance threat and public supports, that one tough-to-score 2 pointer is often the key to a win.

For my part, i've gone -1 NAPD Contract -2 Pop-up Window +1 Oaktown Renovation +1 Crisium Grid +1 Spiderweb

Pop-up is great, but it was always a luxury. crisium grid is hot tech that should probably have been fit into the list already. spiderweb is strong, and even better with parasite weakened. other solid choices, depending on your meta, might include tour guide, engima, caduceus, or any number of other support/tech cards.